Forklift truck safety boosted by training

By Rick Pendrous

- Last updated on GMT

Improving forklift truck safety is the aim of a new training programme
Improving forklift truck safety is the aim of a new training programme

Related tags Trucks Forklift truck

An innovative, new safety awareness course has been introduced, which focuses on the dangers presented by forklifts in the workplace not just for operators but for all those working alongside them.

Specially developed by Mentor Training, Safely Working with Lift Trucks is designed to offer high-impact, cost-effective training which promotes a safe working environment among operators and pedestrians alike, by targeting the behaviour at the root of bad practice.

Just two hours long, the course is hard-hitting, but concise, meaning up to 30 delegates in one day can benefit. It targets anyone on site who works on or around forklift trucks whether they are operators, supervisors or shopfloor staff.

When it comes to accidents involving heavy duty pieces of equipment like forklift trucks, the consequences for those involved are often life-changing or fatal.

Life changing or fatal

According to Health and Safety Executive (HSE) figures, pedestrians are just as at risk as operators if not more so. Every year, forklift truck accidents result in approximately 1,000 serious injuries, reported the HSE.

“Almost 60% of those injured by forklift trucks were 'on foot' at the time of impact,”​ said Mentor's md Stuart Taylor. “Unlike operators, many working alongside forklifts are unaware of the risks they pose and, more importantly, how to reduce them.”

Complacent attitude

This lack of awareness and a complacent attitude towards safety are at the heart of Mentor's new course. While acknowledging that many of the duties undertaken by workers on and around forklifts can be highly repetitive, it draws attention to the danger of allowing bad habits and complacency to become the norm.

It also reminds delegates of the potentially dire consequences for themselves, their colleagues and their company if they allow it to continue.

“Worse still, if left unchecked, these bad habits can quickly spread through a workforce, creating an environment where dangerous behaviour becomes accepted,”​ warned Taylor. “So it is imperative, for the good of the workforce and the site, that a safe, positive working culture is cultivated and maintained.”

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